March 30th, 2010
08:03 PM ET
4 years ago

Tea Party candidate might face felony charge

At the Tea Party gathering Saturday in Searchlight, Nevada, organizers publicly denounced Scott Ashjian from the stage and called on attendees not to cast a vote for him.
At the Tea Party gathering Saturday in Searchlight, Nevada, organizers publicly denounced Scott Ashjian from the stage and called on attendees not to cast a vote for him.

(CNN) - He's new to politics and learning fast just how rough a sport it can be.

Scott Ashjian, the Tea Party candidate running for Senate in Nevada, could soon face a felony charge.

He's accused of writing a bad check for $5000 through his asphalt business. The Clark County District Attorney has filed paperwork requesting Ashjian's arrest, but is still awaiting a signature from a judge.

A spokesperson for the DA's office tells CNN these types of cases are often dismissed without charges if the debt is paid. So far, no word on whether Ashjian plans to settle up for the alleged debt.

That's not all.

The Nevada businessman-turned-candidate is also under fire from Tea Party organizations who have crafted an ad telling Ashjian to "get lost."
FULL POST


Filed under: 2010 • Extra • Nevada • Popular Posts • Scott Ashjian • Tea Party movement
March 30th, 2010
06:57 PM ET
4 years ago

You owe the IRS 99 days of hard work

New York (CNNMoney.com) - This year, it's going to take the average American 99 days to earn enough money to pay the IRS. That's one day longer than last year.

"Tax Freedom Day" marks the date that most Americans have earned enough money to pay their federal, state and local taxes, and this year that day arrives on April 9, according to the Tax Foundation's annual calculation, which is based on government tax and income data.

Arriving one day after it did last year, Tax Freedom Day means that Americans will have to work that much harder - for more than three months - just to pay their 2010 taxes.

The number of days Americans have to work to pay off their taxes has declined steadily since 2007. That's due to a handful of tax cuts, certain income tax provisions that were repealed for 2010 and because the recession has reduced tax collections faster than it has cut income, according to the Tax Foundation.

But while it will take people less time to earn the money this year than it did in 2007, Americans will still spend more on taxes in 2010 than they will on food, clothing and shelter combined, the Tax Foundation said.

Full story on CNNMoney.com


Filed under: Taxes
March 30th, 2010
06:48 PM ET
4 years ago

DeMint: 'My intent is to serve no more than two terms'

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, currently looks to be safe in his re-election bid.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, currently looks to be safe in his re-election bid.

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, proposed a constitutional amendment last year that would limit senators to serving two terms in Washington.

On Tuesday, he pledged to live up to that standard if he wins re-election in November.

"I haven't made any public promises about what I'm going to do in the Senate, but my intent is to serve no more than two terms," DeMint told CN2 News in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

DeMint, 58, limited himself to three terms when he served in the House from 1999 to 2005. He was asked if he intends to make a similar commitment as a senator.

"If the people in South Carolina give me a second term, and I am on the ballot this year, right now my plans are to make that my last and to give somebody else a chance at it," he said.

Vic Rawl, a Charleston County Councilman, is DeMint's likely Democratic opponent.

Updated: 7:05 p.m.


Filed under: 2010 • Jim DeMint • South Carolina
March 30th, 2010
06:39 PM ET
4 years ago

'We have to educate our way to a better economy,' Duncan says

'Education has to rise above politics and ideology,' Education Secretary Arne Duncan told CNN Tuesday.
'Education has to rise above politics and ideology,' Education Secretary Arne Duncan told CNN Tuesday.

Washington (CNN) - President Obama's point man for improving America's schools said Tuesday that boosting educational opportunities will help the struggling economy.

"We have to educate our way to a better economy," Education Secretary Arne Duncan says in an interview set to air on CNN's "John King, USA."

In a wide-ranging interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, Duncan defended changes to the federal student loan program that the president signed into law at a Virginia community college.

Under provisions included in the health care "fixes" bill, private banks will no longer handle federally-backed student loans. Previously, borrowers got college loans from either banks or the federal government. In return for administering loans to students, private banks received federal subsidies to provide student loans.

Related: FAQ's about student loan reform

Republicans have criticized the change as another example of the Obama administration taking control of something historically done by the private sector. But Duncan told King that the changes to the loan program shift money from banks to helping students finance their educations.
FULL POST


Filed under: Arne Duncan • Education • JKUSA • John King USA • Popular Posts
March 30th, 2010
06:38 PM ET
4 years ago

Republican chief faces fallout over sex-themed nightclub tab

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RNC Chairman Michael Steele is facing fallout over a donor's tab at a nightclub.
RNC Chairman Michael Steele is facing fallout over a donor's tab at a nightclub.

(CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is being criticized again after the committee bankrolled a Republican donor's tab at a risque Hollywood nightclub with other party members.

The news comes as Republicans seek donations for an expected brutal and expensive battle to win back the House and the Senate during the midterm elections in November.

"For those donors who truly believe in conservative values, this latest news about Steele has to be very disturbing," Douglas MacKinnon, a former press secretary to then-Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, told the Huffington Post.com's Sam Stein. "Michael Steele needs to resign and let the RNC vote in a man or woman who understands that his or her needs do not come before the needs of the nation or the party."

Federal Election Commission records show Eric Brown, a Republican donor, was reimbursed almost $2,000 by the RNC for a night that included a visit to Voyeur, a Los Angeles club where topless dancers can be seen mimicking sex and bondage acts. The RNC said Brown will give back the money for that night at the nightclub.

Full story


Filed under: Michael Steele • RNC
March 30th, 2010
05:38 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama, French president discuss Iran sanctions, global economy

 President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke to reporters Tuesday at the White House.
President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke to reporters Tuesday at the White House.

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday pledged mutual support for tougher U.N. sanctions against Iran over Tehran's refusal to comply with international regulations regarding its nuclear energy program.

In a joint White House news conference after they met for more than an hour, Obama and Sarkozy agreed that the international community must prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Obama conceded that the push for stronger sanctions lacked backing from some nations, but he said the effort to convince the U.N. Security Council to impose additional measures would continue.

"I'm not interested in waiting months for a sanctions regime to be in place," Obama said. "I am interested in seeing that regime in place in weeks.

And we are working diligently with our international partners, emphasizing to them, that as Nicolas said, this is not simply an issue of trying to isolate Iran, it has enormous implications for the safety and the security of the entire region."
FULL POST


Filed under: Iran • Popular Posts • President Obama
March 30th, 2010
04:56 PM ET
4 years ago

Duncan: Some student athletes 'simply used' by universities

Washington (CNN) - On the same day that President Obama signed legislation revamping the federal student loan system, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told CNN he is concerned about the education of some NCAA athletes.

Related: 'We have to educate our way to a better economy,' says Duncan

"I was lucky enough to have a phenomenal college athletic experience," Duncan says in an interview set to air on John King, USA. "The vast majority of student athletes get that. I worry when athletes are simply used by their universities to produce revenue, to make money for them, nothing to show at the back end. I grew up with a lot of players who had very, very tough lives after the ball started bouncing for them. And that's why I'm going to continue to fight."

Programming note: Watch more of Duncan's interview on John King, USA beginning at 7 p.m. E.T.


Filed under: Arne Duncan • Education • JKUSA • John King USA • Popular Posts
March 30th, 2010
04:55 PM ET
4 years ago

High court debates a little case with lots of laughter

ALT TEXT

The high court's justices managed to crack themselves up - along with the public audience - at least a dozen times in the hour-long oral debate Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

Washington (CNN) - Sometimes the most complicated of cases at the Supreme Court brings out the best arguments. It certainly brought out the giggles in a little-watched appeal Tuesday over federal prison terms.

The justices managed to crack themselves up - along with the public audience - at least a dozen times in the hour-long oral debate. Justice Clarence Thomas rarely speaks at the high court's normally sober sessions, but he especially enjoyed the gentle insults and self-deprecating jibes his colleagues showered on each other. His booming laugh could be clearly heard at times.

At issue was how the federal Bureau of Prisons should calculate "good-time credit" - reduced sentences for inmates staying out of trouble in custody. Prisoners can earn up to 54 days of credit for each year of the sentence.

The ambiguity comes with language in the federal law on how to add up the credits. Prisoners and even law enforcement officials find the formula complicated. The high court agreed Tuesday - repeatedly.

Justice Antonin Scalia suggested the good-time credits kick in at day 311 - 54 days before year's end - and not day 365.

Jeffrey Wall, arguing for the government, replied, "Justice Scalia, I think that sets up an odd system,"

Scalia pointed his finger at Wall's adversary, a federal public defender sitting in the next table, who was nodding his head vigorously at Scalia's comments. "See, he agrees with me!" said the justice.
FULL POST


Filed under: Supreme Court
March 30th, 2010
04:45 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Health care passage motivates voters

Passage of the recent health care reform bill has motivated voters on both sides, according to a new CNN poll.
Passage of the recent health care reform bill has motivated voters on both sides, according to a new CNN poll.

Washington (CNN) – It seems the passage of health care reforms into law has united the country in one way: It's sparked enthusiasm by both Democrats and Republicans to vote in this year's midterm elections, according to a new national poll.

But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey also indicates that the passage of health care reform has not changed the political landscape in the battle for Congress. The poll's Tuesday release comes as President Obama signed into law a companion bill of "fixes" to the main health care legislation that he signed last week.

Full results (PDF)

Fifty-five percent of Republicans questioned in the survey say they are now extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this November, up six points from January. Democrats are also up five points from January, with 36 percent of those questioned saying they are extremely or very enthusiastic about casting ballots in the midterms.

"The health care vote seems to have made some Democrats more eager to vote in November, but it has also activated more Republican voters, so the Democrats still face the same double-digit 'enthusiasm gap' they had before the vote," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

But the survey also indicates that the passage into law of health care reform has not altered the battle for Congress.

FULL POST


Filed under: 2010 • CNN poll • Health care • Popular Posts
March 30th, 2010
04:43 PM ET
4 years ago

Kentucky candidates hit touchy subject

A new ad targeting Rand Paul, who is seeking a Senate seat, addresses 9/11.
A new ad targeting Rand Paul, who is seeking a Senate seat, addresses 9/11.

Washington (CNN) – With just six weeks remaining until the Kentucky Senatorial primary, the two front-runners for the Republican nomination are locked in a war of words over the most sensitive of topics: 9/11.

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson released an ad over the weekend in which the narrator accuses opponent Rand Paul, a physician and son of former GOP presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, of dodging debates in order to hide "his strange ideas."

The ad hits Paul over his opposition to the Patriot Act, before switching topics to 9/11.

"Paul even wonders whether 9/11 was our [America's] fault," the narrator says.

The ad then shows a clip of Paul discussing foreign policy in 2009. "Maybe some of the bad things that happen are a reaction to our presence in some of these countries," Paul says.

FULL POST


Filed under: 2010 • Kentucky • Rand Paul • Trey Grayson
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